Today, we’re going to dig into a tough truth: hair extensions might not be doing you as many favors as you think. That isn’t to say we don’t understand the aesthetic appeal. In fact, centuries of people have appreciated adding to their own tresses. Believe it or not, wigs and sewn-in weaves were worn as far back as Ancient Egypt—though we’re sure their methods weren’t quite as refined as ours are today. In 2023, we have many sophisticated ways of applying weaves, clip-ins, tape-ins, bonding, and more to give a whole new look and feel to one’s hair. But as beautiful as hair extensions can be, it’s important to note that they can damage your ability to grow luscious locks naturally. Let’s talk about it.
Why Hair Extensions Cause Hair Loss
In essence, the reason hair extensions can cause hair loss is quite simple: tension. We’ve talked before about how wearing your hair in tight ponytails, braids, dreadlocks, and cornrows—and even wearing hats, helmets, or headbands too tightly—can contribute to hair loss. The same concept applies to hair extensions.
Whether clip-ins or a masterfully crafted weave, all hair extensions create some tug and pull on your natural hair. This stresses the scalp, which prevents optimal hair growth from the very source: your roots. As the American Academy of Dermatology explains, “The constant pulling can cause strands of hair to break or fall out, and it could damage your hair follicles. Once the hair follicles are damaged, your hair cannot grow back, leading to permanent hair loss.”
The Good News: You Have Options
If you’re someone who feels that hair extensions are a core part of your beauty routine, you’re probably feeling discouraged right now. Worry not, we’ve got a few tips to help you out!
For those of you on the fence about hair extensions, it is probably a good idea to consider alternatives before stressing your tresses. But if hair extensions are a must for you, there are ways to mitigate the damage.
First of all, make sure you are working with a professional stylist to apply your hair extensions. With an expert who knows what they’re doing on your side, the amount of stress the process puts your hair through can be lessened.
Second, be sure to keep your natural hair in tip-top shape. If the rest of your locks are stronger than ever, they will better withstand the tugging and pulling hair extensions cause. Using a great cleansing and conditioning duo is a good place to start, and we’ll humbly suggest our DeeplyRooted shampoo and conditioner. But another great tip is to consider how you can take hair health to the next level … from the inside, out! Our DeeplyRooted supplement can help with that.
Third on our list is possibly the most impactful: love on your scalp. We talked all about scalp massage in a recent post, and this can be a game changer when it comes to keeping hair healthy with extensions. Follow the advice in that blog, and don’t forget to incorporate a scalp-healthy serum into your product lineup.
Last, but certainly not least, a key way to protect your scalp and hair when utilizing hair extensions is to consider downtime. Yes, for your hair! If possible, giving your hair a break between applications is a great idea.
All in all, we know hair extensions are a favorite beauty upgrade for many people. But knowing how they can harm your natural hair and what you can do to protect it might just save the day.
We hope these tips help you do just that—happy haircare to you!